21:28:19 Thursday, 17 June 2021    Company Formations -Business Online Incorporations Officers > Offshore ranking 4**** /EXCELLENT - Dubai LLC- Free Trade Zone - No tax 50 years




In the UAE, economic activity is regulated by individual emirates as well as the Federal Government. In Dubai, the authorities have deliberately sought to create an environment which is well ordered without being unduly restrictive. As a result, Dubai offers businessmen operating conditions that are among the most liberal and attractive in the region.

Dubai is considered heaven for foreign and non-resident investors. It has a completely independent financial system where there are no taxes imposed in any way to the consumers which has increased their confidence in these markets and they are therefore willing to invest readily.

Incorporation procedure in UAE is a simple step by step process and does not require endless visits to a lawyer at every juncture of company formation. The procedures for incorporation in UAE are recognized to be a legal one and it includes the registration of company name and licensing of business activity.


The basic requirement for all business activity in Dubai is one of the following three categories of licences:

·         Commercial licences covering all kinds of trading activity;

·         Professional licences covering professions, services, craftsmen and artisans;

·         Industrial licences for establishing industrial or manufacturing.

These licences are all issued by the Dubai Economic Department. However, licences for some categories of business require approval from certain ministries and other authorities: for example, banks and financial institutions from the Central Bank of the UAE; insurance companies and related agencies from the Ministry of Economy and Commerce; manufacturing from the Ministry of Finance and Industry; and pharmaceutical and medical products from the Ministry of Health.

More detailed procedures apply to businesses engaged in oil or gas production and related industries.

Practising some trade activities (e.g. jewellery and insurance) requires the submission of a financial guarantee issued by a bank operating in Dubai.

In general, all commercial and industrial businesses in Dubai should be registered with the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Ownership Requirements

Fifty-one per cent participation by UAE nationals is the general requirement for all UAE established companies except:

  • Where the law requires 100% local ownership;
  • In the Jebel Ali Free Zone;
  • In activities open to 100% AGCC ownership;
  • Where wholly owned AGCC companies enter into partnership with UAE nationals;
  • In respect of foreign companies registering branches or a representative office in Dubai;
  • In professional or artisan companies where 100% foreign ownership is permitted.


Business incorporation Types:

·         Limited Liability Company: The most common form of business in the UAE. Dubai requires a share capital of AED. 300,000, but this varies by Emirate [e.g Sharjah, Abu Dhabi etc.], by Free Zone, and by activity. e.g. The new procedures for incorporation in UAE for Real Estate brokers who wish to rent out property in their own name is to now give a bank guarantee of around AED 1 million.

o    An UAE national, 'Sponsor' must own 51% of the shares of this company - even though he may not invest any funds into the venture. An agreement with him can be reached about the profit sharing percentage or the fee he will be entitled to instead.

·         Joint Venture: These companies are basically formed to share the profits or losses of another venture which will be run by one or more of the partners. This maybe a written or verbal contract and need not be notarized.

·         Professional Company: These are partnership companies between members of the same profession to supply a professional service e.g. accounting, educational services, medical and so on.

·         Sole Proprietorship firm to Practice a Profession: For a foreign professional investor, the procedures for incorporation in UAE allow him / her to form such a firm without any UAE national being a 'partner'. However, a UAE national must be taken on as a fee based 'Service Agent' instead of a 'Sponsor' to sign important documents such as applications for visas and practicing licenses.

·         Free Zone Incorporations

Free Zones offer the following incentives to the investors.


  1. 100% foreign ownership
  2. No corporate taxation for 50 years; renewable for an additional 50 years.
  3. Freedom to repatriate capital and income
  4. No personal income tax.
  5. Full exemption from import duties.
  6. No currency restrictions.
  7. No bureaucratic red-tapism.
  8. No recruitment problems.
  9. Modern efficient communication.
  10. State of the art infrastructure.
  11. Abundant energy

·         Offshore Company:

Offshore companies can feature in most financial planning scenarios when trying to mitigate tax exposure and/or with regards to passing assets on to beneficiaries freely in the event of death. Sometimes referred as Special Purpose Vehicles (SPV), there is an array of scenarios where an offshore company becomes invaluable and this article relates to their uses when buying property.


The offshore possibility has basically been set up to cater for companies who need to have a regional "tax relief-invoicing-facility" - There is no minimum capital required and also no need to set up an actual office facility. The off-shore regulations have been issued according to international standards and the company will have to register minimum 2 directors, keep financial records and issue an annual financial report audited by a professional auditing company approved by JAFZA/RAKFTZ.


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